Finding enjoyment when going to church?


#1

I’m what you call a C&E Catholic, or cafeteria Catholic, but I want to change that. Pope Francis, for whatever reason, has made me want to stay and become a practicing Catholic. He’s what I’ve always wanted in a Pope, and his style of speaking and doing things, is just… awesome. He’s one of those guys you can have a beer with! That’s how comfortable I am with him.

However, to my point. I haven’t been to my local parish in about 6-8 months (I don’t really like the priest, his sermons are too short, but he’s a nice guy), and it has to do with the service itself. I don’t really find a lot of enjoyment in it. I like listening to sermons full of passion, maybe some modern Christian music (though I am fine with the more traditional music), and I would love to have a Bible study. And what I find a little disheartening is some people in the parishes I have been to are not the most welcoming. Everyone is basically in their own clique and whatnot, and I feel like an outsider.

I really want to become a active and faithful Catholic, but I just need some help. Pope Francis has given me hope, but not so much local members. :frowning:

Also, would I be able to get rebaptized, to show my dedication to the Church? I really do want to get rebaptized because it’s an important part of someones life, and I cannot remember when I was baptized at three months old. lol :stuck_out_tongue:


#2

Hmmm. Interesting questions. I joined the Catholic Church just 5 years ago, and I also found my local parish not terribly welcoming. I kind of liked not being greeted / welcomed like I was used to when visiting other churches (Lutheran), because I could feel anonymous, and yet a personal welcome would have been nice as well. I think that in a lot of Catholic Churches, there is often a big network or extended family, and those people know each other / greet each other, have brunch together, and if you’re not in one of those big family networks, you feel isolated.
I personally think Catholic Churches would be smart to figure out a way to include visitors, and greet them, or reach out to them in some way.
I think the concept of re-baptism is not really Catholic teaching. I know this is discussed a little in the book “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott Hahn. That might be a good read for you! Also, if you were never confirmed as a young person, getting confirmed as an adult would be a beautiful way to show your dedication to the Church.
You might try other nearby parishes, and see if they are a better fit for you. Maybe you will find a priest that you connect with, and you could ask him your questions.

I wish you well - - what an exciting journey!


#3

It’s probably not a church-wide thing, but yeah, certainly in my area and yours. I hope when I move out of the house, I can find a good parish. We’ll see, though. :slight_smile: Hm… I think I may get “Rome Sweet Home,” it sounds like it’d be a good read.

And I haven’t been confirmed yet, hopefully I can start that process fairly soon. Though I would like to get rebaptized if that is acceptable. But I’ll do whatever I am suppose to do. :slight_smile:


#4

You mention Catholic, pope, parish, priest, sermon, music, Bible study, baptism… But what about Jesus?

Go to Mass for JESUS. Jesus is where your joy will be found. All of the things you mention are good but seek Jesus and all those things will fall into place.

There is no such thing as rebaptism. Your baptism was effective. It did what it was supposed to - removed original sin and put an indelible mark on your soul. Nothing will happen if the priest pours water on you and says the words again.

-Tim-


#5

Baptism is a one time sacrament. If you were to be re-baptized, while it may make you feel good it doesn’t add any additional grace.

Since you are already baptized, what you can do is renew your baptismal promises.


#6

Welcome back home! So glad our Holy Father has encouraged you!

You cannot be re-baptised since we recognise “ONE babptism for the forgiveness of sins…” in the Creed. However, I encourage you to look into consecrating yourself.

There are several preparation programs for lay people (I am not talking about consecration as a religious or taking any vows). I recommend the “Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary” by St. Alphonsus Liguori. There is tons of information about it - search the internet or just here on these forums. It is a 33-day plan of prayers and meditation with readings from scriptures and devotional books.

If you ask your priest about it, he can probably point out a few other parishioners who have gone through the program - some people do it once a year. If your parish has a Legion of Mary or Knights of Columbus group, those are good places to ask also.

So a good way to deepen your spiritual life and meet new friends! :slight_smile:


#7

I don’t suppose there’s a perfect parish out there. At one you might have a dynamic priest, at another you have wonderful music, and at a third there’s a great adult education program, but nobody has it all. That being said, some parishes do have more to offer so take a look at other parishes in your area. Decide what’s most important to you and where you can live with something less. masstimes.org is a good site for finding parishes in an area.

Also, would I be able to get rebaptized, to show my dedication to the Church? I really do want to get rebaptized because it’s an important part of someones life, and I cannot remember when I was baptized at three months old. lol :stuck_out_tongue:

Baptism is a one-time event. But in one sense you can show your dedication to Christ and his Church by participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation. That’s the way we return to our status of being pure and holy, renewed in Christ and ready to take on the world!


#8

Have a look at John 13:

8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
9 Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.”

You have had your ‘bath’: you have been Baptised, and that Baptism is forever. But you can, and should, go along to have your ‘feet washed’: you should find out when a parish near you offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and make a good Confession. If you’re anything like me, by the time you get the conviction and courage to do it, it will be the first proper Confession you’ve ever made!

Oh, and if you were never Confirmed, you can do that as an adult too.

As for finding the ‘enjoyment’ in the liturgy, I don’t think that’s the right word. I too used to look for only enjoyment in it, and saw no point in a Mass that didn’t have hymns I liked. But the Mass is about much more than just enjoyment, and I think you’re going to have to learn for yourself how to ‘enter into’ the Mass. You might find learning more about what is going on and why helps you. You might find practicing praying in different ways helps you. You might find working on discerning the spiritual realities present in the Mass helps you. You almost certainly will find being more familiar with the words and actions, from repetition, helps.

Once you’ve been attending Mass regularly at your parish for a little while, keep an eye out for parish events that would offer you a chance to talk to people and get an idea of what the parish does. I’m sure there will be parish groups who would be glad to have you, and it’s easier to start something like a Bible study once you’ve got to know a few people (as well as knowing your priest!).


#9

If you are able try different parishes. One suggestion I have to involved yourself in a parish is to step forward and volunteer in one of the ministries at Mass such as usher, lector, EMCH etc. I’ve found that when one is helping out and involved, you will met others and won’t feel like such an outsider. See if there is a men’s club or Saint Vincent dePaul or a food bank etc step forward to help. When we are doing something either at the parish or Mass, our minds are less likely to dwell on ourselves. I would try to look at other parishes in the area. Remember, you are not going to find a priest that will be like Joel Osteen but you will find dedicated men which is what you should focus on as well.


#10

Welcome back!

I think your first priority ought to be to get right with God through confession. Every Sunday you skipped Mass you commited a serious, possibly mortal, sin. Also, receiving Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin is another mortal sin. But we’re all sinners and the Church is our hospital, so don’t be afraid.

Remember this parable of Our Lord:

[11] And he said: A certain man had two sons: [12] And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance. [13] And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously. [14] And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want. [15] And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.

[16] And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. [17] And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father’ s house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger? [18] I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee: [19] I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. [20] And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.

[21] And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son. [22] And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: [23] And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry: [24] Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. [25] Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:

[26] And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. [27] And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe. [28] And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him. [29] And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends: [30] But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

[31] But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine. [32] **But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found. **


#11

Welcome home.

I found that “A Biblical Walk Through The Mass: Understanding What We Say And Do In The Liturgy” by Edward Sri was a great help in explaining the structure and purpose of the mass. It helped me develop a deeper reverence.

I won’t add more because the above is the only practical suggestion I can make. May God bless you as you grow in faith and love.


#12

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